Monday, September 25, 2023

2023.09.25 Hopewell @Home ▫ Romans 8:28–30

 Read Romans 8:28–30

Questions from the Scripture text: Which things do we know work together for good (Romans 8:28)? To whom do they work together for good? What did God also do to those whom He foreknew (Romans 8:29a)? To what did He predestine them (verse 29b)? For what reason (verse 29c)? What did He do for those whom He predestined (Romans 8:30a)? What did He do for those whom He called (verse 30b)? What did He do for those whom He justified (verse 30c)?

What does God know about the mind with which the Spirit intercedes for the saints? Romans 8:28–30 looks forward to the midweek sermon. In these three verses of Holy Scripture, the Holy Spirit teaches us that the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to God’s plan to glorify them in and with His Son. 

We knowRomans 8:28. All things working together for good isn’t even the main idea of verse 28. The main idea is that we know. How do we know? We know that the Spirit helps us to pray for it (Romans 8:26a), because He Himself prays for it (verse 26b), because He Himself has purposed it (Romans 8:27). What evidence is there that He purposed it? Because He called us according to that purpose (Romans 8:28c). 

That’s the only way that sinners such as we are could ever come to love Him (Romans 8:28b). Here the love of God summarizes the keeping of the whole law (cf. Matthew 22:37–40). The one who was a slave under sin is now a lover of God? How did THAT happen?! God purposed it. God called him. God turned him into a lover of God.

God foreknewRomans 8:29a. Why would God do this for someone who was going to be such a sinner? God did foreknow that we would be sinners. But that’s not the foreknowing that this verse is talking about. Some have thought that it’s talking about God foreknowing that we would choose Him, but that’s a rubbish idea. Apart from converting grace there would only be sin. But this is not foreknowing about a person; this is foreknowing the person himself. Predestination unto glory is the consequence of God determining to have an eternal relationship with a person. 

God knowsRomans 8:29-30. What is the mind of the Spirit as He prays for us in Romans 8:27? It is the mind that belongs to God from all eternity. The mind that treasures the glory of the Son. The mind that predestined those whom God foreknow to be conformed to that glory (Romans 8:29b). The mind that has shaped the history of every foreknown saint from predestination, through calling, to justification (Romans 8:30). And this glorification, that was determined from all eternity, is so sure to come (and to last into all eternity) that the apostle puts it in the past tense. For, it was determined in the knowledge of God—determined in that knowledge which is not a reactive knowledge, but the knowledge that has decreed whatsoever comes to pass (cf. Ephesians 1:11). 

The saint can know that all things are working together for his good, because the way that he came to be a lover of God is because God has determined to work all things together for that saint’s glory with Jesus Christ.

What’s the only way a sinner like you can become a lover of God? When would that have been determined? What had God unstoppably planned to do to such as love God? Why did He predestine them to that?

Sample prayer:  Lord, thank You for loving us and planning a relationship with us from all eternity. Grant unto us to know the fellowship of Your Spirit, Who works in us and prays for us, that we may be sure that all things are working together for our good—working together to conform us to Christ, which we ask in His Name, AMEN!

Suggested songs: ARP98 “O Sing a New Song to the LORD” or TPH469 “Who Are These Like Stars Appearing”

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